Microsoft follows Google in pulling plug on its home-energy service

Microsoft follows Google in pulling plug on its home-energy service

Summary: Not too surprisingly, Microsoft is pulling the plug on its Hohm energy monitoring service.

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Not too surprisingly, Microsoft is pulling the plug on its Hohm energy monitoring service.

Microsoft admitted the discontinuation of Hohm via a June 30 blog post on the Microsoft Hohm community blog. MIcrosoft will continue to operate the Hohm service up until May 31, 2012. Like Google, which is cutting the cord on its PowerMeter service, Microsoft is claiming slow uptake is to blame.

From today's post:

"Due to the slow overall market adoption of the service, we are instead focusing our efforts on products and solutions more capable of supporting long-standing growth within this evolving market."

There are a few reasons I'm not surprised about Microsoft's decision to drop Hohm.

Microsoft's Hohm, codenamed "Niagara," never exited beta (from what I could tell). Last I heard about the service (though not directly from Microsoft), Microsoft was repositioning Hohm to be a service to monitor electric-car charging.

Hohm started out with a lot of promise. It was one of Microsoft's first public-facing services hosted on its Windows Azure infrastructure. Microsoft execs described it as an example of the company's ten-year commitment to the energy space.

But just this week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admitted what many inside the company have noticed for the past couple of years: Microsoft is going for the big bets and abandoning some of the "idle smaller things" inside the company.

(Thanks to @pradeepviswav for his tweet about Hohm that provided me with a heads-up.)

Topics: Google, Browser, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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12 comments
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  • Looks to me like nobody cares about saving energy.

    The world is doomed.
    Will Pharaoh
    • RE: Microsoft follows Google in pulling plug on its home-energy service

      @Will Pharaoh

      In my opinion, nobody (at least in the rich world) cares about saving every last cent's worth of energy, particularly when that saving is more than offset by the cost. I think that people are conscious of things they can do for free - turn off the air conditioner when you're not at home, buy more efficient light bulbs. But it seems like today, "green" bloggers and vendors are asking me to buy a $40 energy saving power strip to eliminate the few cents worth of power used by my printer in standby.

      It seems to me that a greater gain would be realized by educating people about simple steps they can take to conserve energy, and by providing meaningful comparisons of costs - for example, this light bulb costs $X, but in its lifetime it will save you $Y in electricity. A few people will want to squeeze out the last watt, but I think almost anybody would be willing to take free steps to conserve energy, and make informed conservation-minded buying decisions.
      1DaveN
  • Awesome - one more MS product in the coffin

    Keep 'em coming.

    Don't trust your data to Microsoft. Period.
    itguy10
    • As no one trusts you.

      @itguy10
      Period.
      :|
      Tim Cook
      • That goes for pointy-eared wanna-be's as well

        Period.
        ;)
        blind obedience
  • RE: Microsoft follows Google in pulling plug on its home-energy service

    Ummm. I figure the tree hugging hybrid/electric driving chirping birds in a hippie dudes beard fruits will be a *itchen *itchen....
    MLHACK
  • Microsoft is going for the big bets...

    ...forgetting that it was small bets that created the company. <br><br>Originally PC-DOS was not that great a money maker. Windows NT? Same story.<br><br>Today, they prefer to bet the whole company into no starters like "Office 365" and "Windows 8". <br><br>New company motto: <i>Do whatever it takes to destroy the cash cows we have so painfully created, just to shot down our competition, not in what they are (secretly) building today, but rather, what they showcased yesterday. Target the iPad 1, not the iPad 2. And release the stuff in 2012 months so they can showoff the iPad 4 and 5 in between, and send us to hell once more.</i>
    cosuna
    • Message has been deleted.

      dorky
      • Message has been deleted.

        Tim Cook
    • Message has been deleted.

      Tim Cook
  • RE: Microsoft follows Google in pulling plug on its home-energy service

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